Meaning Of ‘How Do You Like Them Apples?’
1. This phrase is often used as a way to mock or tease others after gaining some kind of victory over them. It’s similar to the expression “stick that in your pipe and smoke it!”
Example: Ron thought he was the fastest kid in school. “No one can outrun me,” he gloated. However, another kid named Tim challenged him to a race and won, so he said: “Hey, Ron, how do you like them apples? It looks like you’re not the fastest after all.”
2. This saying is also used after someone receives surprising information.
Example: My friend said that tickets for this new movie are sold out everywhere, so we can’t see it on its opening night. But then I told him: “Well, I was actually able to snag two tickets before they sold out. How about them apples?“
The Origin Of ‘How Do You Like Them Apples?’
When some people hear the phrase “how do you like them apples,” they might think of the 1997 movie Good Will Hunting. This movie stars Matt Damon who plays as the character Will Hunting, a genius working as a school janitor. There’s a point in the movie where he gets into a fight with a rival who’s trying to impress a girl. Will Hunting ends up getting the girl’s phone number, and then later, in order to taunt his rival over this, he walks up to him and the following exchange occurs between them:
Hunting: “Do you like apples?”
Rival: “Yeah.”[Hunting pulls out a piece of paper with the girl’s number written on it and shows it to him.]
Hunting: “Well, I got her number. How do you like them apples?”
Okay, so why am I talking about this movie? Well, because plenty of people think of this specific scene when hearing this expression, so I thought I’d mention it. Anyways, the idiom does not originate from this film, so… where does it come from?
It was thought that this expression might come from World War I. The word “apple” was a nickname for certain grenades and mortars that were used in trench warfare at the time. For instance, there was a 2 inch medium trench mortar that was nicknamed “toffee apple” because it looked like an apple on a stick. Evidently, however, this phrase does not originate from WWI because it dates back to an earlier time.
According to Early Sports and Pop Culture History Blog, this expression dates back to at least the year 1895. For example, it appears in the newspaper The Eagle, September 26, 1895:
“Bryan is the best cotton market in this section of the state and has received more cotton than any other town in this section. How do you like them apples?'”
See Also: An Apple A Day Keeps The Doctor Away
Here’s another apple related expression you’ve probably heard of before, but if not, well now you can learn about it.